Killing 1.5 hours of my day watching an Apple event requires some sort of value-add for the time spent. And that usually manifests itself in a blog post...like this. And I typically have overwhelmingly positive things to say and dreams about the possibilities for our industry.
But this time? Not so much.
Instead I find myself reflecting on the impact of wearable tech in general, and having more questions than dreams. But most of the questions have already been asked, and are currently being addressed. Corporate business units have been struggling with the rapid changes in technology now for over a decade. Corporate IT departments still struggle with managing "bring your own device" and access to social media sites. Corporate HR has concerns about the "always on", and "mobile", employee because of compensation laws, and work hours v. non-work hours, and so much more. Sadly, while so much has changed, much has stayed the same. Many companies, in their rush to be seen as early adopters, have implemented new solutions over the past few years that already seem outdated. It's a reflection of dreams turning into reminders of recent nightmares.
The Cloud is Important to Training & Development
These discussions inevitably lead to the benefits of Technology as a Service being a solution. And it's called cloud computing. If you're still unsure what that is then check out Cloud Computing on wikipedia. Scroll down to the service models section to learn about IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS.
Perhaps training and development professionals can succeed blissfully ignorant of the cloud, but smart professionals in ALL industries are learning, and stepping up their game. You'd be wise to do the same. Having a working knowledge of the cloud gives you an advantage in the job market, but will also gain you credibility with your IT department. And more to the point, you'll understand why someone like me would choose a company like Litmos to attach my personal brand.
Reflections on the Training Industry and Litmos
I've been lucky enough to have a unique view of our industry few others have experienced. Seeing vendors come and go with design and tech trends heating up and cooling off. And at a critical point in my career I was disappointed in our industry's lack of innovation in the cloud. (I don't even remember if it was called the cloud back then.) Then I saw Litmos and that changed everything. Seeing Litmos grow with few real competitors over the years gave me the confidence to become a customer while ramping up a training department, coincidently, for a cloud company. Witnessing the reality of the cloud in action, and in a real product built for training, and my immediate need, that is so also functional, and friendly sealed the deal. And my love for Litmos and respect for the cloud was born.
Apple Reminded Me...
So, what did I get out of 1.5 hours of a beautiful presentations by Apples masters? For me, it's confirmation that the connectedness of everything is in our not so distant future. There will be new devices, new applications, and new uses, but the single common factor among all of it is the cloud.
Many in the eLearning industry will promote the learning uses of shiny objects like Google glass, tablets, watches... and maybe even drones. The tech you can see is always sexier than the tech you can't see. But yesterday's Apple event reminded me that it's the magic happening behind the IT curtain making it all possible. And the experienced puppet masters who make it all seem so effortless.
Apple reminds me that while many technologies exist, it is hard work turning that tech into useful features and even harder work making a marketable product to the masses. Apple's event also reminded me why Litmos makes me so happy.